Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Thursday, October 25, 2007  

Two letter writers take up the same theme in today's Newsday. With the election bearing down on us, they both demand the same thing: a national debate between the leaders of the three main political parties.

It would be, as one of the writers points out, the first time such a thing occurred in T&T's political history. The three party leaders--yes, the UNC-A has two leaders, but we all know which of them is the better public speaker (ie not Jack)--the three leaders, on a platform, fielding specific questions about the real issues affecting the nation. Questions such as:

-- What do you think of the $10 minimum wage? Is it too high, or too low? Should we have a minimum wage at all?

-- Are you for or against the death penalty?

-- Should the descendents of slave owners be made to pay reparations to the descendents of slaves?

-- Isn't it discriminatory to have equal opportunities legislation that denies the rights of gays? And isn't it time to repeal all anti-gay legislation?

-- What with the number of women who die or are put at serious risk from so-called backstreet abortions every year, shouldn't there be abortion law reform?

-- What is your view on the separation of religion and the state? Should the state continue to fund parochial schools/Should state-funded schools be religious?

Just imagine what would happen if our political leaders were forced to answer questions like these, in front of the entire nation. Imagine what that could mean for our politics.

But how will it happen? The politicians certainly aren't going to agree to it. We have to demand it. And the media have to do so on our behalf. As Ishmael Samad says in his letter, the ball is in their court.

posted by Jonathan | 1:32 PM 0 comments


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